You have chosen wisely my young apprentice, may the force be with you !
You can chose virtually any type of uniform and we will take the head shot from a photo and marry the two together in perfect harmony.
Please note we don't do horses as it just does not look right, we can do cats and some other animals as well, take a look at some of our superb uniform paintings, they are super popular...
No this is completely out of the question, how do you expect us to maintain our artistic integrity under different lighting conditions. Only joking, this is absolutely fine, we can work with different photos, as we know it is tricky to get two cats or horses in the same photo at the same time without causing a severe bust-up!
Here is one below
If you look at any piece of fine art portrait of any pet or human, landscape or subject matter, the major differentiator between a great painting and an ordinary one will be the use of lighting. Great lighting effects in the painting can even add a magical or ethereal effect, superior lighting is particularly effective in pet portraits, this is because the animals fur and hair can actually made to glisten with lighting which adds a super natural quality to the painting which can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end, and the very least will draw your interest into the picture and allow you to experience the beauty of your favourite pet.
If you are looking to commission a wonderful dog painting or horse painting, you should look carefully at previous examples of the artist work to see that they can incorporate complex lighting effects and that they are rendered in a pleasing way, a pet portrait which ignores lighting effects may still look pretty, but it will be flat and dull overall and have a feeling of superficiality that you don’t want, these types of pet portraits will only capture your interest for a couple of days, there are a lot of internet painters and artists who have poor skills in lighting that “churn” out these types of pet portraits, here we always incorporate profound lighting effects, to truly represent your horse, dog or cat in all it’s glory, so you will never be disappointed.
In terms of lighting effects, we will normally select one point of focus for the light to be emanating from, most photos including those taken with a flash camera will have such a point of source light, photos taken in natural sunlight are best though. The artist will then render the painting as if the light and consequent shadows result from this source of light. Take a look at this example and see the light on the top of head has been used as a focal point, the dog is super cute as well, which helps a lot :)
Now here is the actual photo below
However, the artist will normally magnify the effect at source, so that you can actually, take a look at this example below, you can see the light has been slightly emphasised in the oil painting, the real skill involves this effect and also the gradation of shading which occurs in the painting, the more shadows and subtle areas of shade, the more three dimensional the painting will become and leave the viewer enthralled.
The final “coup de grace” can be delivered by using a small point of light in the eyes/pupils of the horse or dog, as the eyes are the “window to the soul”, in terms of importance the eyes are the most critical component of the painting and are normally the first thing that a viewer will look at, mastering the eyes and lighting are some of the trade secrets of our fine artists, developed through years of rigorous training with masters of the craft, using the key components of light and hue allow our artist to distinguish themselves as leaders in their field, and deliver fine dog portraits and horse portraits to our customers, we will look at “missing components” in our next blog on artistic licence.
The process of painting involves the artist having to make some subjective judgements as to how do best represent your favourite dog, horse, cat or goldfish! Instead of a mere faithful representation from the photograph, there are normally a few affectations or compromises to be made by the artist to make the painting the most beautiful it can be, the odd line drawn as a curve, the ugly parts beautified and the light made a shade prettier.
Keeping the balance between beauty and reality is the key skill of any fine artist, too much beauty and you end up transforming Quasimodo into the Mona Lisa, too much reality and you end up with a photo! So retaining the harmonious elements of any picture is an art by any form. When you commission your pet portraits it is easiest for you to send us your beloved pet in photo format and then we will work our magic on it! So you don’t really have to worry about what we do in terms of artistic licence, generally speaking the better the photo the less artistic licence we need to use.
We will take a look at the most obvious elements of artistic licence in this series of articles, starting off with colour, known by artists as hue.
Colour or Hue
We will use the term colour rather than the snobby term hue. So we don’t immediately alienate you, and bore you with technical terms!
In pet portraits and paintings and drawings colours play a very important role. Colours communicate a true emotion in a photo. The first surprising thing to learn is that the colours in a photograph may not the real colours the eye would see in nature, the biggest differences occur when the following occur:-
Not using natural sunlight - In some cases, the result of not using natural light (and not making necessary adjustments) is that photographs have the wrong colours. In some cases, your colours may be tinted towards a certain colour often it is blue or grey, resulting from photos being taken indoors.
Exposure time- Another possible reason for skewed colours is exposure. If the exposure is too long, the photo is too bright, so the colours are washed out. On the other hand, if the exposure is too short, of course the colours are too dark, but at a certain setting colours can be too saturated.
Different laptop/tablet etc etc- "When an image is reproduced on a laptop, a magazine page or a photographic print, each of the outputs is slightly different, and the colours may shift or alter a bit.
Professional photographers set their monitor colours to the same calibration, which allows them to get very close with colour accuracy in postproduction. But the same standard doesn't apply to other devices. Most people don’t have the time or energy to look at things on a calibrated monitor.
So you can now see how the artist has to make some changes to the colours to your pet portrait, to make it look real. The next step is that the artist may make some additional colour changes if he thinks the painting will look more beautiful, however it is our experience at pet portraits that most horse portraits and dog portraits don’t need colour changes beyond what is needed to represent the true colour in nature versus the camera, this is because all animals are intrinsically beautiful and humans are very comfortable with their imperfections, so the standards of beauty that a human might impose on say a female supermodel are never imposed upon a beloved pet. This is because the deep bond and relationship one has with your pet, so normally any colour changes for “artistic licence” are normally quite small and subtle are typically just to correct deficiencies in the photographic image.
Finally, don’t confuse colour changes with lighting and shading changes, whereas colour changes will normally be quite small, the lighting and shading changes may be quite large in comparison, this is because lighting effects in pet oil paintings can be quite substantial, this is due to the fact that lighting changes really bring a painting to life, they need to be more emphatic than normal lighting conditions to draw the viewer in and really add a three dimensional effect.
Yes we finally joined the internet superhighway thingy! You can join our facbeook account here
and our instagram account here
and finally last but not least twitter
Watch out for lost of interesting jokes, pet quotes and lots more!!we also occasionally have sales and special offers on pet portraits, dog portraits, horse portraits and oil paintings if you are lucky :)
If you're an artist yourself, you won't need to read this as you will probably already know it all!!
This little bit of information is to give first-time art buyers a good understanding of how to take care of the original oil paintings they have purchased and chosen to live with. Believe it or not, most non-artists are unaware that art needs special care and cannot be treated as a piece of furniture might be treated! Please note the oil paint can take upto 6 months to fully dry out after painting.
Whenever someone buys one of my paintings at portrait-pets, I try to explain to them the basics of caring for the work, and offer to be available any time they have a question or need assistance with its preservation. After all, I care very much about the well-being of my work. My paintings remain as personal and dear to me when they are purchased as they were the day I created them. Art collectors should always keep in mind that this is how artists feel about their work, and that art is more than just a commodity. It is a piece of the artist's soul.
Here are just a few basic rules:
(For those of you who already know these things, Yippee! This is not for you. These instructions will sound very simplistic, nevertheless I have met many people who actually don't know these things.)
1. Never lean the front or back surface of a stretched canvas on a pointed or sharp object, no matter how small. This will leave a dent that will disfigure your work. If you must lean it against something, lean it on the wood of its stretcher bars so that nothing presses against the canvas.
2. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will fade the colors in your oil painting. Please be aware of this when choosing a location for your work.
3. You might want to dust your painting regularly, so that a thick layer of dust does not build up which will dry out the paint and possibly result in cracking and peeling. Do not spray anything (like pledge!) on the work. Dust with a soft, dry cloth. If the surface of your painting looks dry and dull, you may want to have it varnished. Most artists will offer to varnish the work, if they haven't done so already, at a new owner's request and free of charge. Varnish is a protective surface which will not only enhance the image, but will keep the surface intact and safe from cracking (except under extreme circumstances, of course).
4. If you must transport the work, lay a flat piece of cardboard, mat board or similar firm material over the front and back surfaces, and then wrap it in bubble wrap or styrofoam wrap. Try not to keep it wrapped up for too long as to avoid moisture buildup which might cause damage to the work.
5. Never expose your painting to extreme heat, extreme cold, or to extreme humidity. (Yes - this means a flood. Yes - this means a fire. Yes - this means snow. This could also mean an attic in the summer or a damp basement).
6. If something bad happens to the work (i.e. it crashes down on someone's head and gets a big gash in it), bring it to a professional conservator who can fix it properly. Don't do it yourself!
7. If you ever need or want to get rid of the work for any reason, always contact us, who should be informed of the work's new whereabouts so he or she can update the work's provenance records.
Just a mini blog post, we thought this little dog drawing had a super cute dog, we mainly specialise in dog and horse oil paintings, however we are always open for business on a nifty little dog drawing if that is what you like :)
And here is the photo below, it had the ear missing- so we added that in !!!
Just a short blog post on another super dog drawing, where the customer was so delighted they wrote us a review
"Thank you so much for this, we are all so impressed and super blown away by this drawing of Kaiya. It is AMAZING. The artist has captured her intelligence and beauty."
And we would wholeheartedly agree! checkout the dog drawing below and actual photo fo comparison
And here is the actual photo
Finally, here is one of Kaiya, chillin' out with her new dog portrait, it's a dog's life!
That is quite easy to answer, you should allow between 3 – 5 weeks from commissioning your portrait to receiving it. Your artist will usually have completed your pet's drawing within 2 weeks, if it is an oil portrait then within 3 weeks but since oil paints need time to dry, we then allow a further 2 weeks for your dog’s painting to have dried sufficiently before we can safely deliver it.
It is a fair question, maybe you thought we were just slaving away making a living off rendering furry friends and pet portraits because we did not have anything better to do! all the while we are yearning to paint the Cistine Chapel or get paid to millions to put sharks in formaldehyde!
Don't be too cynical, we actually love painting pets, we all have horses or dogs as pets, so we love felines, canines or equines as pets, they are lovable and cute, and we don't know how we would live without them, so we see nothing better than painting a great work of art for another pet owner to adore.
We just feel privileged we can work with so many nice customers on pet portraits, so don;t feel guilty order away! :)